Today is coordination meeting day throughout the EU institutions. To use an organic metaphor, if you imagine each institution, each DG, as being like a heart, then these meetings are the pulse that sends energy coursing through the arteries of the organisations for the rest of the week. Having tended to specialise in horizontal policy issues, I have spent quite a lot of my career in these sorts of meetings. They can be deadly; unstructured and unforeseeable agenda points, long-winded participants, political point-scoring, meetings dragging on until gone one-thirty – I have seen it all. On the other hand, when the agenda is well-structured and the meeting well chaired, then these meetings can be a joy. If you get out of a good meeting you feel set up for the week. If you get out of a dreary one, then, well, you feel dreary. I am chairing my first Directors’ meeting as SG this morning, and I see the chairing of an effective meeting as being one of my first challenges. There are a number of variables that make it an interesting challenge. I am much aware of one of C. Northcote Parkinson’s laws; that the length of the meeting is a function of the number of people in it multiplied by the number of agenda points. And on the agenda this morning we have one major agenda point – the development plan for our translation services, which we share with the Committee of the Regions. The provision of interpretation and translation is one of the great conundrums for the EU. An interesting and challenging morning ahead, then.